How to prevent bug bites while camping

How to prevent bug bites while camping (2022)

Summer is near and so is the best camping season of the year. But one question many newbie campers want to know how to prevent bug bites while camping.

camping mosquito repellent

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Why are biting bugs so attracted to me?

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The human skin produces many odors and scents. Scientists are still learning exactly which ones attract insects to us. Certain body types emit more heat and carbon dioxide than others.

Mosquitoes appear to be selectively targeting people based on their skin microbiota. Microbiota refers to the bacteria that naturally reside in or on the human body. Our skin alone is home to over 1000 different species of bacteria. [1]Why Mosquitoes Like You The Most. 30 August 2018. Gungabeesoon, Jeremy. The article was retrieved on 13 May 2022 from https://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2018/why-mosquitoes-like-you-the-most/

Does diet affect mosquito bites?

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No. There is no scientific evidence supporting changing your diet (e.g. eating garlic, increasing vitamin B intake, avoiding bananas) as a method for avoiding mosquito bites. Instead, mosquitoes appear to be selectively targeting people based on their skin microbiota. [2]Why Mosquitoes Like You The Most. 30 August 2018. Gungabeesoon, Jeremy. The article was retrieved on 13 May 2022 from https://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2018/why-mosquitoes-like-you-the-most/

What color clothes keep mosquitoes away?

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To help repel mosquitos, avoid wearing colors like cyan, orange, red and black. Instead, you should focus on wearing colors mosquitoes ignore like white, blue, green, and purple.

Mosquitos are naturally drawn to CO2 we produce when exhaling. When they smell specific compounds, like CO2 from our breath, that scent stimulates the eyes to scan for specific colors and other visual patterns, which are associated with a potential host, and head to them. [3]Alonso San Alberto, D., Rusch, C., Zhan, Y. et al. The olfactory gating of visual preferences to human skin and visible spectra in mosquitoes. Nat Commun 13, 555 (2022). … Continue reading

How to prevent bug bites while camping?

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Color of clothing

Wear white, blue, green, and purple. Avoid wearing cyan, orange, red and black. Mosquitos are drawn to a red-yellow color signature.

Read also… Ultimate Family Camping Checklist

DEET vs Picaridin

  • Both are equally effective at preventing mosquito bites.
  • DEET was developed by the U.S. Army in 1946 and has a long history of safe usage.
  • Picaridin was developed in 1980, and thus, has a smaller sample size of data for long-term safety concerns.
  • DEET has a distinctive odor and has the ability to dissolve certain plastics and some synthetic materials, including rayon, spandex, and vinyl. 
  • Picaridin is odorless, non-greasy, and does not dissolve plastics or other synthetics.

Electronic bug killers

Not to be confused with ultrasonic bug killers, electronic bug killers attract mosquitoes and other bugs using UV light and a high voltage power grid. Bugs fly directly into an electrified grid and die quickly. Electronic bug killers are designed to work in areas 

Avoid mosquito habitat

Stay away from standing water such as puddles, and stagnant bodies of water. These areas allow mosquitoes to reproduce. If you can’t remove standing water, consider adding mosquito dunks. These products use a naturally occurring bacterium toxic only to mosquito larvae. They’ll start killing in just a few hours and keep working for 30 days.

Mosquito pop-up tent

Mosquito netting is an effective and natural way to avoid mosquitos. This chemical-free solution also protects you from the sun’s UV rays during the day and offers additional protection from mosquitos and other flying pests.

Be aware of your use of flashlights and lanterns

While mosquitos are not drawn to campfires or flames, they are drawn to other lighting sources. When you’re using lanterns and flashlights, be sure to turn them off before entering your tent or cabin so you don’t have any unwanted company following you in.

Last update on 2022-04-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

References

References
1, 2 Why Mosquitoes Like You The Most. 30 August 2018. Gungabeesoon, Jeremy. The article was retrieved on 13 May 2022 from https://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2018/why-mosquitoes-like-you-the-most/
3 Alonso San Alberto, D., Rusch, C., Zhan, Y. et al. The olfactory gating of visual preferences to human skin and visible spectra in mosquitoes. Nat Commun 13, 555 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-28195-x
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